1925. The war is over and a new generation is coming of age, keen to put the trauma of the previous one behind them.
Selina Lennox is a Bright Young Thing whose life is dedicated to the pursuit of pleasure; to parties and drinking and staying just the right side of scandal. Lawrence Weston is a struggling artist, desperate to escape the poverty of his upbringing and make something of himself. When their worlds collide one summer night, neither can resist the thrill of the forbidden, the lure of a love affair that they know cannot possibly last.
But there is a dark side to pleasure and a price to be paid for breaking the rules. By the end of that summer everything has changed.
A decade later, nine year old Alice is staying at Blackwood Hall with her distant grandparents, piecing together clues from her mother’s letters to discover the secrets of the past, the truth about the present, and hope for the future.
I was completely immersed in The Glittering Hour from the first few pages and knew immediately that it was going to be a very special book. Everything about it is captivating, from the parties, the fashion, to the locations and especially the writing. Iona Grey has a rare talent for making you feel something in every word she writes.
The story follows Selina Lennox and alternates between 1925 and 1936 (the present), whilst incorporating a series of letters which Selina has written to her daughter, Alice. I loved this element of the book, the moving between the past and the present was done beautifully and linked together perfectly with Selina’s letters, which also contained a treasure hunt for Alice. It’s also the story of how Alice came to be and I thought this way of the story unfolding, not just for Alice but for the reader, was very clever.
The book is filled with wonderful characters, from the exuberant Theo, to the artistic and handsome Lawrence, from the kind and understanding maid Polly and of course to Selina herself, full of life and glittering. They are so well written and developed, you feel as though you know them and you’re completely invested in them. You care for their wellbeing and their story.
I truly didn’t want this book to end and I have thought about the characters long after finishing reading. The Glittering Hour is a beautiful book, which made me cry more than any book has done for a long time. I hope you love it as much as I did!
Thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me on the tour and to Simon and Schuster for a copy of the book, which is available to buy now!